1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Constipated with Rocks

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by Chippychap, Aug 16, 2019.

Help Support Tortoise Forums by donating:

  1. Chippychap

    Chippychap New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location (City and/or State):
    Corona, California
    Anyone had a constipated tortoise from eating rocks? Noticed my desert tortoise's back legs giving out while walking. Took him to vet and got x-ray and found rocks and backed up fecal matter in digestive tract. Worried about outcome.
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    82,057
    Likes Received:
    55,178
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Clovis, CA
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    Feed very wet foods, like aloe, cucumber, watermelon, cactus and anything edible that might cause loose stools. Spread mineral oil on a leaf of romaine, roll it up tightly and hand feed it to him. Cautionary note: never put mineral oil all by itself into a tortoise's mouth. The tortoise won't feel it and could possibly inhale it. Suck a little mineral oil into a dropper and squirt it into the cloaca.

    Mineral oil is non-absorptive but rather, coats items in the digestive tract and makes them easier to pass.
  3. Chippychap

    Chippychap New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location (City and/or State):
    Corona, California
    Thank you. I will try what you suggested. The vet gave us some lactulose to administer and wants us to shake him for 15 to 20 minutes. Even suggested taping a vibrator to his abdomen to help break up blockage. Again many thanks.
  4. Coco Channell

    Coco Channell New Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2019
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Las vegas
    I saw my desert tortoise eating rocks too. Must be something they do. Good luck with your baby I finally got a deep water tub that mine can't crawl out of so she's getting longer soaks.
  5. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Messages:
    16,147
    Likes Received:
    2,798
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Apple Valley, California
    In addition to what Yvonne said, long long looonnggg warm water soaks (like an hour +) a few times a day....I would caution on how you "shake" the tortoise, that is super invasive and can cause stress with negative outcome....if you can encourage the tort to be super mobile, that will also help.....slippery food, long soaks and a long walk in the yard. Also, when you feed the tortoise, you will want to do so on a rock free spot....and their food will have rocks and debris stuck to it when they ingest it....if there is a rock garden or the like in the tortoise yard, i would remove that source.....

    Also, as long as the tort is still wanting to eat then you have a good chance to get all moved through....along with the other advice....how old/large is the tortoise?
  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    45,780
    Likes Received:
    25,867
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Southern California
    Its something they do when not fed correctly, over supplemented, or when there is a mineral imbalance.

    What do you normally feed your tortoise, and what is your supplementation routine?
  7. Chippychap

    Chippychap New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location (City and/or State):
    Corona, California
    Hi. He is 24 and weighs 9.4lbs. He still has a good appetite. At this time only eating moist red leaf,romaine lettuces and watermelon till he passes rocks. Always feeds on a paper plate his entire life. Had him since baby. Passed some sandy gravel today. But still has blockage.
    My wife saw what looked like a hard black mass trying to come out of rectum. It popped back in. I would assume it's part fecal and small stones clumped. Had I been there I would have gently tried to assist it out.
    I soak him daily. Warm water. The shaking is not violent. More of a vibration to help break up impaction. Pulled him in a wagon as well over a rough surface as recommended by vet again nothing violent.

    Thank you for info and help.

    Thank you for your response.
    IMG_0400.jpg
  8. Chippychap

    Chippychap New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location (City and/or State):
    Corona, California
  9. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Messages:
    16,147
    Likes Received:
    2,798
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Apple Valley, California
    Super long long long soaks are super helpful and will offer up results :)
Similar Threads: Constipated Rocks
Forum Title Date
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) Yearling CDT constipated Jul 31, 2010
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) Bob still eating random rocks etc.... Apr 28, 2012

Share This Page